The Book that Changed My Life: The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

When you throw a question at Life, Life finds a way to give you an answer. 

A few years ago, overloaded with negativity and drama in life, I wondered why my mind would not stop thinking about the events and people that hurt me. It was like my mind has a mind of its own. Why was it overthinking? Why did it work the way it had been?  I was already tired of my life, and  I needed to do something before it takes me down to the rabbit hole. The answer came when my friend shared about Eckhart Tolle’s book, the Power of Now. She read it and claimed it changed her life. Fascinated, I signed up for Audible for the first time and got a free audiobook, the Power of Now. 

The narrator of the audiobook is Echart Tolle himself. It has ten chapters and runs for seven hours and thirty-eight minutes. In the introduction, Eckhart shared how he became a spiritual teacher and how the Power of Now came to be. Knowing that he also experienced depression and incessant thinking gave me hope. 

One of the important things I learned from this book is to be always present. However, our mind stops us from being present because of its egotistical nature. It wants all of our attention and energy on the pain of the past and fear of the future. The mind keeps on rehashing the frustration we had in the past, the anger towards those who hurt us, and all of the other things that put drama into space between our ears. To free ourselves from this, we need to be aware of the present moment. 

To be present is to be fully aware of our inner body and the surroundings using our senses without putting labels on everything we see, hear, feel, and taste. After listening about how to practice it, I tried to apply what I learned when I prepared onions for the dish I was about to cook. As I washed the onions, I felt the cold water as it ran over the round, red onions and my hands. I also listened to the sound of the flowing water from the silver faucet as it hit the sink. Then, I walked to the table and noticed every detail of the onions as I peeled their skin off and cut them into smaller pieces. I felt calm and light as I just focused on my task, no nuisance from thinking about the past. I tried to feel my entire body while doing the task. I felt the hard floor under my feet. I felt my right hand and fingers as I held the handle of the knife. I listened to the sound of the knife as it hit the chopping board after sliding it down through the flesh of the onion. I took notice of what my senses experience. 

The present-moment practice was calming, however, it was tiring. It was all new to me. The part of my mind that wanted to overthink tried to pull my awareness away from being present. I realized that it would take a lot of practice to fully use the power of now. But it’s okay. The most important thing is I found a way to stop my mind from going into overdrive. With constant practice, I could manage my thinking and focus on the present moment more fluently.

Life can be overwhelming with all the pain, caused by mental patterns created in the past and by fear of the future that we create based on our past. Certainly, at some point in time, we will definitely grow weary from this inner battle, and we want to give up on life. We just need to ask questions about why things are happening. These questions will lead us to answers that help us explore and discover strategies to fight and win over negativity. We need to learn the strategies and practice them until they become a part of our habits. Practicing the power of now is a good habit to have.